january 2018

january 2018 is almost over with a day to go before it completely expires into history.  i haven’t written anything yet.  i had written thoughts on the incoming (new) year for the past years since i began this blog, thestrayschnauzer, but apparently, for this year, i hadn’t.

i was at a small high school reunion last night — only 12 of about 40 old classmates were present.

toast to manolo

we met because one of our classmates based in seattle was here in the country.  we have mini reunions — meet ups — every now and then.  but this one was special because of our balikbayan classmate, manolo (picture below, middle).  it was most special for me because manolo and i last saw each other in 1977… 40 years ago!

manolo

me, manolo, & mar — classmates since grade 3 (but probably further).

the reason i am writing my blog now is because manolo reminded me of its existence — he told me he reads my blog.  there!

driving in the streets of metromanila is very stressful.  this is if you are one who stays in your lane, flicks your indicator (signal) light when overtaking, looks in the side mirror if you’ve completely passed the other vehicle before getting back in lane, keeps within speed limit, and drives cautiously and defensively.  people seem to be always racing for time on the streets.  cars and vans, motorcycles and buses — all vehicles — weave left and right in front of me on the wide 6-lane EDSA highway.  it reminded me of what i have wanted to blog about for the new year, 2018.

it’s about the race.  not the human race, but a car race or a horse race — a race to the finish line.  life is a race — a race to the grave.  and the longer you reach the finish line, the better winner you are!  however, in this race, unlike other races where contenders sometimes don’t finish — everybody finishes!  everybody reaches the finish line — the grave.

this is very sobering.

so when we are at our best, when our intellectual faculties are functioning above our bestial appetites, we do everything in our powers to prolong our appointment with the grave — we take care of our bodily health.  and the number one way to do so is by attempting to go on a diet and lose all those unwanted and heart-risk-increasing poundage.

the best thing that happened to me last year, 2017, by far, is when i learned of and went on the ketogenic diet.  this is 2017 for me — keto (ketogenic) WOE (way of eating).  this was everything on my mind last year — or, at least, the last quarter.  losing 30 lbs in 3 months is great news, as far as bodily health is concerned.  blood works coming in all normal is good news.

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that, my friends, in toto, is 2017 — a radical way of eating and a huge amount of weight lost, a normal blood panel, and getting a new handle on bodily health.

i have no new year’s resolution, as i have had before — but a new year’s target: to reach 190 lbs with normal blood pressure through keto WOE.

happy new year!  and kung hei fat choi to my dear chinese friends on feb.16.

just another other day

happy new year!!!

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that is how i and a million others worldwide greeted the end of 2016, and the beginning of 2017.

but it is only because we have held on to the notion that january 1 is the beginning of a new year.  we believe it to be so, and thus, we live as if it were really so.  but not everyone celebrates the new year on january 1. 

we (those who celebrate the new year on january 1) do so because we have followed the gregorian calendar, ever since we could tell what day today or tomorrow is; so for us, january 1 marks the new year.

none of us (i haven’t heard of anyone locked up under the gregorian calendar system) have sought to change it — too difficult, almost impossible, and practically needless.  besides, we are reasonable men; and reasonable men seek to adapt to what happens around them; it is the unreasonable men who seek what happens around to adapt to them — so, we leave change to these unreasonable men.

in 45 B.C. unreasonable men, led by julius caesar, changed the start of the new year from march 1 to january 1 — this is also the reason why september (sept- for seven) is not the seventh month; october (oct- for eight) not the eighth month; november (nov- for nine) not the ninth; and december (as we would expect, also because of the prefix ‘dec’ which stands for 10,) not the tenth, but the twelfth month.  the 16th century gregorian system simply revised the counting of days but retained the names of months.

julius caesar is also the reason why july is named july — julius wanted a month named after him.  so he changed the 5th (now 7th) month ‘quintilis’ or ‘quint-ember’ to ‘julius’ (july.)

but the chinese (an old culture) celebrate their new year on an entirely different day and by an entirely different method of reckoning.  they base their method on the cycles of the moon or lunar cycles.  in 2017, as of this posting, the chinese are still on the old year; their new year will come on january 28 according to their lunar calendar.   this marks their spring festival.

the jews (another old culture,) on the other hand, will celebrate their 2017 new year from sundown of september 20 to sundown of september 22 — still a long way off.  they call it the rosh hashanah, or the head of the year.

i am a reasonable man, and therefore stay locked up in the 16th century gregorian reckoning of days — and this is the new year, and the time for new year’s resolutions.

it’s just another other day!